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Todigubnus – example of local elite ready to cooperate with Romans

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Inscription announcing the commissioning of the Roman temple by Tiberius Claudius Togidubnus
Inscription announcing the commissioning of the Roman temple by Tiberius Claudius Togidubnus | Picture; RIB 91; Bogaers, 1979: Plate IX

Before, during and after the conquest/subjugation of new territories, the Roman state always tried to find local elites who were ready to cooperate with the Romans.

Such elites played a kind of link between the central government in Rome and the general population of the provinces. Their task was to ensure constant tax collection and to eliminate any internal unrest.

A great example of such a representative of the elite who cooperated with the Romans was the chief of the Regni tribe – Togidubnus – who ruled in the south of Britain in the middle of the 1st century CE. His cooperation during the invasion of Roman troops in 43 CE facilitated the campaign and the capture of the southern parts of the island. His commitment and effective help to Roman troops were appreciated and the Romans granted him citizenship and a new Roman surname – Tiberius Claudius Togidubnus. He probably also continued to play a leadership role in the local community. Evidence of this may be the discovered inscription in Chichester (southern England), which announces the commissioning of the temple of Neptune and Minerva “for the prosperity of the imperial house”. The inscription mentions Tiberius Claudius Todigubnus as the initiator of the building, whose name appears on the stone as Cogidubnus.

It is possible that the extremely luxurious Roman house discovered in Fishbourne (near Chichester) belonged to Todigubnus.

  • Beard Mary, SPQR. Historia starożytnego Rzymu, Poznań 2016

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